Iranian President Hasan Rouhani is the first Iranian president to visit Turkiye after 18 years. The main purpose of the visit is Oil and Gas Trade. However this visit closely related to the Ukrainian problem more than misunderstandings between Turkiye and Iran.
While U.S. sanctions against Iran are continuing, this is actual facts underlying approval of such a quiet visit. European Union needs of a new pipe line urgently to move the gas via Turkey to reduce its dependence on Russian gas via Ukraine.
Russia planned to build the South Stream pipeline both to punish Ukraine and to continue selling Gas and Oil to Europe. But Bulgarian Prime Minister Oresharski announced that, that pipeline construction was stopped in the past few days. South Stream Pipeline of which Gazprom owns 50% of shares of it would carry out the energy to Europe via Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, Slovenia, Austria and Italy. The pipeline would be activated after 2018.
Here, the primary goal in the background of Turkiye – Iran negotiations is the construction of a new pipeline through Turkiye to Europe with the tacit approval of the United States and the EU. The other issues unresolved for last years to be discussed between Turkiye and Iran are the following:
• Being expensive of Iran’s natural gas prices which is sold to Turkiye and Iran’s sending the gas incomplete because of technical problems which have been suggested by Iran, had been moved to the International Council for Commercial Arbitration. If Turkiye and Iran cannot resolve this problem between themselves, ICCA will decided by the end of this year. Iran has chosen to resolve this issue via negotiations because ICCA can decide for Turkiye’s benefit. And Iran agreed to this visit at the level of Heads of State. It is likely that this issue will be resolved via negotiations and will be made an agreement, then the case will be dropped.
• In Middle Eastern politics, Turkiye and Iran are opposite sides. Iran is behind all Shiite organizations and Turkiye is behind all Sunni organizations in the Middle East. Iraqi Shia Jafari Management, Syrian Shiite Nusayri Management, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Turkish Hezbollah, some Turkish Shiite opposition groups and Shia movements in the Gulf are supported by Iran. The Sunni Mujahideen organizations in Syria, Sunni Sheikh Managements in the Gulf, Sunni and Christian Groups against Hezbollah in Lebanon and Sunni Kurdish groups against Maliki are supported by Turkiye and the West. This case is directly contrary to Israel’s regional policy and the provocations between Sunnis and Shiites will continue and mutual bombs will explode again. The issue of Syria is currently knotted.
• Turkiye decided to transport oil in Kurdish region in Iraq to international markets via Kirkuk – Yumurtalik pipeline despite the opposition of Maliki government. But, even the U.S. has opposed this oil deal with Iraq’s Kurdistan region that bypassed central government. Hence, oil tanker ship carrying 1 million barrels of Kurdish oil is waiting in the coast of Morocco now. Because the purchase agreement has been canceled in recent days and International buyers which can buy Kurdish oil, cannot be found. Meanwhile, the second party Kurdish oil is waiting in Turkiye’s pipeline. Turkish Government and Barzani Management remained in a very difficult situation. Can Iran Management reconcile again Turkiye with Maliki Management? It is very difficult!
• One hand Turkish Government is conducting negotiations with Terrorist Ocalan and the other hand it is attempting to weaken the military structuring of the PKK. We know that the PKK terrorist group is not only strong in Iraq, but also in Syria and Iran. In recent days, the PKK decided to establish Civil Defense Corps in Mahabad which is considered Eastern Kurdistan. This situation is undesirable for Iran. Probably confidential communications will be made on this subject and there will be taken some decisions. However, Iran is stronger than Turkiye in fighting against terrorism. Kurdish terrorists continues to be executed one after the other in Iran.
• The latest negotiations to be discussed are about trade relations between Turkiye and Iran. In the first quarter of 2014, the trade volume between the two countries was around $ 3.2 billion. Also the trade volume between Iran and Russia was around $ 5 billion in this period.
While Turkiye and Iran are discussing, we should not forget the following:
Turkish Government has been playing to the leadership of Sunni Islam and Iran has been playing to the leadership of Shiite Islam. Both of these two managements will not give up their objectives. Political relations between Iran and Russia are more powerful than relations between Turkiye and Iran and this case will continue to do so. Iran has high interests with Russia about Caspian, Caucasus and Gulf politics. And it is not possible to give up easily.
Although Turkish Government claims that it is pursuing an ottoman policy, this is the political Islamist and an adventurous foreign policy. Because, neither Ottoman State nor modern Republic of Turkey distinguished between ethnic and religious differences. If Turkiye continued its Central Asian Politics, which was started by Turgut Ozal, after the disintegration of Soviets, today it could compete with Russia and Iran.
These examples are enough for those believe that Turkish Government is doing great heroism and improving relations with Iran despite the United States.
Meanwhile, there are some people beating their brains whether Iran President will visit Mausoleum of Ataturk, rather than regional policy of Iran. Many of us lives with slogans rather than facts.